Where has the time gone? My baby is 1 today. So many emotions are floating around I can barely think straight, not to mention planning a Birthday and Baptism party on the same day! May have something to do with my craziness too, but it makes perfect sense, right? I could hardly sleep last night with so many thoughts going through my head like, "this is my last baby", "how could I love something so much?", and "am I doing it right?". It doesn't matter how many books are published on how to raise a baby, it is an instinct and somethings are just learned by trial and error. Too bad for her, the error starts and ends with her! So many things have changed in my life since she was born, I forgot how my life used to be, you know the FREE life. I am so lucky to have spent the time with her at home, no one could begin to understand how grateful I feel. I now have a daily coffee date. We talk about how we slept, what we are going to do the rest of the day, then we call Nana to see how she is doing. I also have a permanent shopping buddy who will soon enough be embarrassed by me. I have a workout buddy who tries to get me to skip sessions all of the time. She is super helpful during downward dog. I suddenly become a bridge. No, my little stinker does not sleep through the night yet (yes I know she is 1) but it is MY fault entirely. There is something about knowing you will only have 1 child and every little thing they do is precious and will be ending in such a hurry you will almost had forgotten it happened. ( Don't get me wrong, I have my moments, and I am not perfect). Just like the parents who choose to be parents again and again and again. Did you forget that babies wake up and cry all night or that birth is soooo painful? Nope, you just know it ends and what you get with that is totally worth it. That is my attitude, whether it is right or wrong. It is right for me. You may hear me "complain" every once in a while but in reality I am trying to relate to other parents on that topic and agreeing so it is not a bunch of know it alls telling me what I am doing wrong. I am talking about a baby who just wants her mommy and I am ok with that. I get up, walk through the dark to her room, open the door, scoop her up and feed her the bottle. I nuzzle my face into hers and rock her while I enjoy the snuggles. I have sung "You are my Sunshine" to her since she was born and I put her back to sleep. It won't last forever.
Sometimes I find it hard to understand why I have never felt this kind of love before and how could it exist when she has no idea what I am doing for her and her only way of displaying her love back is crying, or so it feels. So many adult couples go to counseling for this exact reason. They don't feel love from their spouse. Why do we expect to feel it from them but never complain that our infant just doesn't show us love? Just something to think about. I feel love when she needs me, recognizes me, and reaches out for me. Actually, she can just be lying there throwing a fit and I still feel that love for her. Crazy huh? Haha That innocent face when she wakes up has the biggest smile and she knows I will always come get her. She has no idea my love for her. This kind of love is priceless. I mean, who loves a stinky diaper, slobbery, whiney mess? I do. If this is what growing up entails with a baby, then I am glad to do it. If this is what makes me miss events, concerts, girls nights, and "me" days, it is ok. It will not be like this forever. Someday I will be like my parents and have no more children at home and I do not want to be sitting there wishing I had done more or enjoyed more things with her.
You my love, have taught me patience. The other day we were raking leaves and playing outside and she thought it would be fun to dig all of the mud out of my flower pots then proceed to roll in it like a pig. I could only laugh. Seriously, what could her little brain be thinking at that point? I took her in later for a bath before her afternoon nap. After she was up from her nap my husband came inside to shower, so he started the shower water to get it warm. He then came to help me move a few boxes to another room. I called for the baby but I could not find her. I started looking in her favorite places she is not supposed to play and finally found her helping herself to the shower. Fully clothed, soaking wet, playing. She then said "bath". So I let her shower. It is those kinds of memories I will never forget. Before you, I had nothing to be patient for.
You will forever be my baby and I just can't tell you I love you to the moon and back. I have never really understood that term (yes I know it is from a book) but I just tell her I love you forever. My love does not stop for you when it comes back from the moon, it is infinite. Cheesy? Maybe, but yet another trait I have picked up since becoming a mom. I am a ball of mush, weep at the sight of her smile. It took me about a month to actually watch the video of her birth, I couldn't get through it. I can still hear in my head the team of amazing people telling me the moment she came out, "Awe Ashley, she is beautiful." I look back occasionally through old videos of her and I "talking" when she could barely even get a sound out and tears form every time. I always wanted and wished for a boy, but it was never up to me. God knew what he was doing and I am forever thankful for my precious baby girl who reminds me daily, we are on her time now.
So just like the song, I have sung for exactly 12 months already and will continue to sing as long as she will listen: You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are gray, you never know Rowan, how much I love you, please don't take my sunshine away. I will love you forever. Happy Birthday Princess!